United Kingdom manufacturing output rise surprises


Signs of life in British manufacturing

In a statement, the ONS said: "Manufacturing remains relatively subdued since the start of the year, though July showed the first significant monthly growth of 2017, with auto production increasing partly thanks to new models rolling off the production lines". The pace of expansion was forecast to accelerate to 1.7 percent in July.

Total production output for July 2017 compared with July 2016 increased by 0.4%.

United Kingdom industrial output rose 0.2% in July, the Office for National Statistics confirmed, as economists predicted after a 0.5% rise a month earlier, meaning it rose 0.4% year on year.

However, this robust manufacturing performance is being countered by slower growth in services - which represents more than three-quarters of output - and construction.

The monthly growth exceeded the expectations of economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, who forecast a 0.3% expansion.

Addressing these and other short-term economic indicator figures including United Kingdom trade, ONS senior statistician Kate Davies said that manufacturing remains relatively subdued since the start of the year.

Construction growth slumps to one-year low

Overall industrial production rose by 0.2% in July, after a 0.5% increase in June.

Ms Davies said: "Exports of goods to the European Union increased but this was offset by falling goods exports to the rest of the world". The trade in goods and services deficit was unchanged at £2.9bn in July.

Chris Williamson, IHS Markit's chief business economist, said: "While the data suggests the weakened exchange rate may be helping the economy in terms of rebalancing towards exports and goods production, the rate of improvement remains modest".

As accelerating inflation squeezes consumer spending-a key engine of United Kingdom growth-economists say that production and trade will have to do more heavy lifting to stave off the already-evident economic slowdown.

Second-quarter economic growth was above the 0.2% growth seen in the preceding three months, but still only less than a half of the 0.7% expansion seen at the end of a year ago.

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